1.    08 Jun 2017 #1
    Join Date : Jun 2017
    Posts : 2
    Windows 10 Home v. 1703 Build 15063.296

    Low max earbud volume on Acer desktop running Windows 10.


    First post here so I hope this is the right forum for this. I just bought a new Acer desktop about a month ago. Everything seemed fine but I did notice that it did not immediately recognize the earbuds when I plugged them into the front headphone jack after setup. However, it did start working soon after.

    Fast forward a few weeks and several Windows updates, and I started having a problem with the maximum volume being way too low (once again, only using earbuds). I noticed the problem soon after the latest Windows 10 Creators Update, and I have seen other people online complaining about a similar issue after that update.

    I tried loudness equalization, installing the latest Realtek driver several different ways, removing the Realtek driver entirely and using the default Windows HD Audio Device, etc. I then had an online chat with Microsoft tech support and he installed the Realtek driver and several other drivers directly from the Acer website, which I had not tried (I had tried the Realtek site and Windows update). This seemed to help some at first but I soon realized it had not fixed the problem. I went back and installed the remainder of the latest Acer drivers that I had not yet installed.

    I tried plugging the earbuds into the rear audio jack instead of the front, with no difference. I have also tried headphones and speakers. Headphones sound even worse/softer. However, the speakers are extremely loud at maximum volume, so no problem there, but I always use earbuds, for a number of reasons. I also tried an extra set of identical earbuds and it is the same problem. I use those earbuds on another desktop (a much older Dell) and there is no similar problem.

    I can hear most audio on videos decently, but it is not great. On most computers the max volume is way too high and you have to turn it down a bit to listen comfortably. Not so with this one. Max is barely loud enough.

    Anyway, if anyone has any clue what might be causing this or how to fix it I would appreciate it. I have tried to include my system specs with as much detail as possible. Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    08 Jun 2017 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Inverness
    Posts : 1,187
    Win 10

    The impedance of SOME headphones/earbuds may not be what this particular PC is designed for. I have some "high end" headphones in my home recording studio and even though they are "high end studio" headphones I get different volume levels from the different brands.

    PC speakers have a built in power amplifier so whatever level is output from the PC is being amplified inside the speaker system and probably why it is loud.

    This is not to say there isn't a hardware problem with this PC.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    10 Jun 2017 #3
    Join Date : Jun 2017
    Posts : 2
    Windows 10 Home v. 1703 Build 15063.296
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
    The impedance of SOME headphones/earbuds may not be what this particular PC is designed for. I have some "high end" headphones in my home recording studio and even though they are "high end studio" headphones I get different volume levels from the different brands.

    PC speakers have a built in power amplifier so whatever level is output from the PC is being amplified inside the speaker system and probably why it is loud.

    This is not to say there isn't a hardware problem with this PC.
    Well, you solved my problem, and it really was that simple. I feel pretty foolish. I found a pair of plain old Apple earbuds I forgot that I had, and the difference is like night and day. I had been using a very cheap pair of "UiiSii" brand earbuds I got for a few bucks off of Amazon, made in China.

    The reason I did not suspect the earbuds is that the exact same pair worked just fine on the older PC, and the other pair of the same brand also worked poorly on this new PC. Further, the pair of Sennheiser headphones I tried also sounded just as soft/bad on the new PC, if not worse, but also sounded great on the old PC.

    So it was not a clear case of "you get what you pay for," since they did not have the same problem on a much older computer, and actually sounded great.

    I assumed it must be either a a software/Windows 10 issue, or possibly even a hardware problem. But it was really apparently some compatibility or as you said "impedance" problem with that specific combination of that cheap brand of earbuds and the new Acer desktop. I was not even aware of that possibility, really.

    Further, I do not know if this had any effect on the Apple earbuds sounding so dramatically better/louder on the new Acer, but I just installed the latest Realtek driver version from the link on this board, although it had not had an effect on the old earbuds.

    Regardless, I am very grateful for you pointing out this embarrassingly simple solution. Thanks again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    10 Jun 2017 #4
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Inverness
    Posts : 1,187
    Win 10

    Cool. Glad you got it figured out. It may not have actually been the impedance of the ear buds but just the fact it is not as efficient as the Apple and thus does not amplify as much. We had a similar thing with the singer in our band, he is hard of hearing and has a wireless monitor that he uses along with ear buds. He had some cheap ones he got at Wal-Mart that worked, they went bad and I gave him some "better" ones that I wasn't using and they are much louder than the cheapies.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 


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